The H.O.G. Rally was our excuse to go North, but my real destination was a place that I have been wanting to go to for a long time, Seligman, AZ on the old Route 66. I have been wanting to travel at least a part of the Old Route 66 for a while, and since it was only a short 42 miles from Williams to Seligman, the most famous part of this stretch of 66, this was the perfect opportunity to experience a small part of history. So after a "Truckers Speical" at the Railroad Cafe in Flagstaff we were on our way. Not only has this trip been on my list of things to do for a while, but HD gave me a nudge when I got their email that was promoting their Harley-Davidson Route 66 Guided Tour. This is a 2400 mile ride from Chicago, IL to the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, CA to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Mother Road. Take a look at the above link. It is quite a tour that they put together.
Even though I am not the kind of person to live in the past, I do appreciate seeing and even experiencing the nostalgia of how life was back then. As we were riding the 42 miles from Williams West on I-40 to exit 139 to start our trek on Route 66, I was wondering how it must have been crossing this country in a car 50 years ago with no air conditioning, averaging about 50 miles an hour and hoping your car wouldn't overheat out in the middle of nowhere in the high desert.
Ironically, I didn't have to think back too far to relive that experience. I remember like it was yesterday making the trip from Kansas to Las Vegas during the Summer of 1964 in a two toned blue and white 1957 Ford Fairlane pulling a small travel trailer. Some of you might remember that car. Of course there was no air conditioning, hotter than heck, and my Dad was keeping one eye on the road and one eye on the temperature gauge. Overheating with these cars wasn't a possibility, it was a probablility. I'll never forget sticking my head out of the back window while going down Las Vegas Blvd. in the 105 degree heat trying whatever I could do to get cooled off.
Some of the roads that we traveled that year looked a lot like the road the road I was on now. Straight. narrow, through barron land and filled with tar snakes. Although I was still 10 miles from my date with the past, my mind and thoughts were already there. As we rode down Main St. I got my first look at the famous Delgadillo's Route 66 Snow Cap Drive In. My mouth was already watering for one of their world renowned chocolate milk shakes. But we saved that for our treat on the way back out of town after making a stop at the Roadkill Cafe for a photo op, Westside Lilo's, the Supai Motel and The Historic Route 66 Motel where you can still find Direct Dial, Queen Beds and Cable TV.
It was then back to The Snow Cap for a nostalgic Hot Dog and Milk Shake. Delgadillo's Snow Cap is probably one of the more famous stops on all of Route 66. Juan and Mary Delgadillo established the Snow Cap Drive-In in 1953. Juan worked at the Snow Cap every day until the day he died, June 2nd, 2004 at the age of 88. Juan became well known as one of the co-founders of the Historic Route 66. He was cherished by tourists for the antics he pulled on them while they were trying to order food and drinks. Today this same tradition is carried on by Juan's two sons Bob and John. They still pull stunts like giving YOUR change to a total stranger behind you, asking if you want a straw and pull out a small bail of straw tied with a string or in my case admonishing me over the loud speaker for not getting to pick up my order fast enough.
Their tagline is "Home of the "Cheeseburger with Cheese" and "Dead Chicken". The food is great and the milk shakes are superb. Even though the ordering process is filled with zany humor, it is also fun just to walk around the place and view all of the wild decorations you will find on the property. You will even find an outhouse complete with a TV and phone and a door to the restroom with a knob on both sides. When you make your visit to the Snow Cap, be sure and allow time to really enjoy the place. The snow cap is truly a world wide destination as you can see business cards stuck on the walls from all over the world. Click Here for a great description and history of Delgaldillo's Snow Cap. Click Here for some fascinating history of Route 66 and Seligman.
After our stay at the Snow Cap we took a stroll down to the Rusty Bolt for some souvenirs of our visit to Seligman and Route 66. The Rusty Bolt is biker friendly and has a lot of motorcycle related items as well as shirts hats and wall hangings commemorating Route 66. It is worth the one block walk from the Snow Cap.
After leaving Seligman we were on our way back to Bellemont for a quick stop at Grand Canyon Harley and then down 89A to Sedona and back home. We planned it perfectly as we arrived home at about 8:15pm avoiding the heat of the day. In fact, the highest we saw was 99 degrees. If you are looking for a fun little trip for the weekend, this would be a nice route and destination. We simply went up I-17 to Flagstaff, went West on I-40 to Williams, and then on to Seligman. Then back I-40 East to Bellemont for a quick refreshment before heading South on 89A through Sedona and Hwy. 179 back to I-17. This could easily be done in a day as it was only 430 miles with a fair amount of Super Slab along the way. If you do it in a day, plan to leave early and return late to avoid the intense heat in the Valley right now. Click Here for a map of the route.
Click Here for some great pictures from the day.
Directions From the Loop 101 and I-17 in Phoenix:
Take I-17 North 128 Miles to I-40
I-40 West 57 Miles to Route 66, Exit 139
Route 66 West 18 Miles to Seligman
Scenic Route Back:
Route 66 18 Miles East to I-40
I-40 East 57 Miles to I-17
I-17 South 2 Miles to Hwy. 89A
South on 89A 25 miles to Sedona
Hwy. 179 S. 15 Miles to I-17
I-17 South 89 Miles to Loop 101